The Very Slow Time Machine with Jez Higgins & Me TV with Russel Winder

by paulgrenyer, on 4 November 2018

When: Wednesday 7th November 2018 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Where: Mills & Reeve, 1 St James Ct, Norwich NR3 1RU


The Very Slow Time Machine with Jez Higgins

Archangel is a joint project involving University of Surrey, The National Archive, and The Open Data Institute, investigating how we might help ensure the long-term integrity of digital documents stored in public archives.

When an archive produces a physical artefact, its relatively easy to establish that it is indeed the original document, preserved unaltered since it was first deposited.

But a _digital_ artefact?

A digital document can be infinitely copied without degradation, but can also be undetectably altered, inadvertently or deliberately, both with benign or malign intent.

How can we be confident that what we've presented with is, in fact, identical to the document that was first stored in archive?

Archangel is trying to address this problem, and in this talk I'll describe some of the approaches and technologies we're using.

Spoilers: Yes, it includes blockchains, but it's about the only blockchain application you'll hear of that doesn't immediately make you feel dirty. It might also include machine learning, but it's machine learning for justice.

Jez Higgins

You may know Jez from such talks as A Browse Through ES6 or Chris & Jez's Old Skool Artisan Software Workshop. He's currently working for West Midlands Fire Service as software grandad-in-residence and on Archangel as a researcher, although by the time this talk rolls round he'll be looking to start filling his 2019 diary.

Me TV – a journey from C and Xine to Rust and GStreamer, via D with Russel Winder

Whilst the Web and streaming has more or less stopped people being interested in watching OTA television on a computer, it remains a fun problem to work on. Me TV started life when creating software PVR and media centres was "a thing". MythTV and Kodi won that race and Me TV faded into obscurity. But I wanted a Freeview (UK DVB T2) player, not a PVR.

This presentation skims through some of the technical fun and hassles of picking up a "dead project" and working on it as a personal project, and then discovering there are users. There will be commentary on evolving vs rewriting codebases, some programming languages, some APIs and their bindings, and tool support.

Assuming there is TV signal in the venue, there will be demonstrations.

Oh, and there will be code.

Russel Winder

Ex-theoretical physicist. Ex-UNIX systems programmer. Ex-computer science academic. Ex-author. Ex-analyst. Ex-expert witness. Ex-Trainer. Not yet an ex-human being. Still interested in programming and programming languages. And concurrency and parallelism. And build.

Still helps organise the ACCU conference